Baltimore MD in Popular Culture and Film

With its urban center and historic harbor, Baltimore, Maryland has been the backdrop for many books, movies and TV series. Eclectic Baltimore neighborhoods, such as the bustling Inner Harbor, quaint Fells Point, and urban downtown area, provide diverse settings within the city limits.

TV Series Set in Baltimore

1. Homicide: Life on the Street – This popular police drama aired on NBC from 1993 to 1999. The series was set in Fells Point, an historic waterfront neighborhood in Baltimore. Though the series is on longer on the air, the building which housed the show’s police department can still be seen in Fells Point.

2. The Wire – This critically acclaimed HBO crime drama was set in Baltimore and aired from 2002 to 2008. While the series was set in Baltimore, each season explored a different aspect of the city, including the drug trade, the port, the school system, the city government, and the print media.

3. Roc – Airing on FOX from 1991 to 1994, this Emmy-nominated sitcom centered around an average American family living in Baltimore. Roc is often remembered for its comedy and for being one of the few sitcoms to air live episodes since the 1950s.

4. One on One – This sitcom about a single dad raising his teenage daughter aired on the former UPN network from 2001 to 2006. The first four seasons of the show were set in Baltimore, though the last season was moved to Los Angeles.

Movies Set in Baltimore

1. He’s Just Not That into You (2009) – A romantic comedy set in Baltimore that follows the love lives of nine individuals.

2. Hairspray (2007) – Like the acclaimed musical, this film adaptation is set in Baltimore and tells the story of a plump girl who lands a role on a teen dance show and leads a fight against racial segregation.

3. He Said… She Said (1991) – This romantic comedy depicts each both side of a relationship between fictional journalists working at the Baltimore Sun.

4. Ladder 49 (2004) – This drama tells the story of a Baltimore firefighter trapped inside a burning building.

5. Sleepless in Seattle (1993) – The female lead in this romantic comedy (played by Meg Ryan) lived in Baltimore and worked for the Baltimore Sun.

6. Liberty Heights (1999) – A semi-autobiographical story about writer-director Barry Levinson who grew up in Baltimore.

7. Avalon (1990) – This Academy Award-nominated, Barry Levinson film follows a family of Eastern European Jewish immigrants who settled in Baltimore in the early 20th century.

Authors Writing in Baltimore

1. Edgar Allan Poe – Though born in Boston, Edgar Allan Poe lived in Baltimore for many years and wrote many of his famous short stories and poems while in Baltimore.

2. Anne Tyler – This novelist and long time Baltimore resident often sets stories in Baltimore. Her novels include The Accidental Tourist, Back When We Were Grown-ups, and Breathing Lessons.

3. Tom Clancy – This author and part-owner of the Baltimore Orioles sometimes sets stories in Baltimore, such as his book and subsequent movie, The Sum of All Fears.

4. David Simon – As an author and former police reporter for the Baltimore Sun, David Simon was the behind both Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire TV series. He has also written The Corner, set in Baltimore and based on inner-city crime.

5. F. Scott Fitzgerald – In his short story, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, the main character is born in Baltimore.

With its rich history, thriving harbor areas, and urban setting, it is not surprising that these, and many other, works of fiction have been set in Baltimore, Maryland.